aat 5

by Peri John

aat nude seeking critique peri john

Gallery: Artistic Nudes in black and white 2

Tags: nude seeking critique

Category: Nude and Erotic

Published: Monday 10th of January 2005 08:06:00 PM


Comments

Daniel Mejias
Hi John, You've captured a moment that brings back a very fond memory, just as I remember it to be. This candid does has a very warm casual tender feeling.

John Peri
Women's strength ... Thank you Lannie for this very carefully written and well thought out comment. I could never hope to equal your prose, but I will nevertheless reply. Ah, the moralists! ... I have no quarrel with these actually though, unfortunately, our sentiments are not always shared! If anything I would add that they serve to keep the debate alive! There are however two things that do trouble me with this population, the first is when they try to impose their views on others and, the second, when hypocrisy is involved. A third category exists also when people express their envy. I would say that this can be the most distressing of all, but this is yet another debate. I would so much wish that everyone in this world have everything that they could ever wish for. However, why must some wish to demean others just for having something that in fact they really want for themselves? I believe that the young lady that left her comment above did it innocently. If anyone glances at only one example of any such a photo, it is indeed possible to imagine that it is set up and gratuitous. If she troubles to look a little further though, she may discover that it is in fact a trend that I consciously or unconsciously pursue? This cannot be done on purpose. One may get away with it two or three times in succession, but in the end the fakes will show up for what they are. I am sometimes as suprised as others as to why our sessions turn out like this. Undoubtedly, it may have something to do with attitude, but even more so I think it is due to the trust that we communicate to each other. The model expresses her sincerity through her nudity. I do it by my obvious admiration for her integrity. Both of us are vulnerable, she by being in the position of a possible victim and me as the accused, but we do not give the impression that we consider that of each other, through our attitude, and that is where the trust is built. I am often reprimanded for not posing my models and leaving fingers, feet and whatever pointing goodness knows where! However, if you want your model to feel at ease, my premise is that you must leave her to be totally in control. None of these girls have any idea what to expect when we begin a session. What may be disarming, as you call it, is the fact that they are put under absolutely no pressure at all. They are wonderful, charming and spontaneous young women, and they sometimes give what I don't really ask for, simply because they feel free to move - when they want - in the direction that they choose. Paradoxically, the only moments when I feel that I may betray them in essence is when I tell them to relax for five minutes and to have a drink or a smoke, and I then take a picture like the one above! They are very understanding however when I show them the photos afterwards and explain to them their significance... not surprisingly, it is very often the same preferred pictures that they pick out themselves. These girls do not ever consider themselves as models and in fact they are not. I present this work to them more as having an essay written about them. You put a lot of stress on the nudity and its social implications. Of course we differ from one region to another, but we also do so within the microcosm in which each of us lives. I have often tried to look for a common denominator among the young ladies that I photograph. Other than that they are almost all working and independent women, there are no similarities in origin, social class or religion. I will not say which one, but one of the recently posted nudes is actually a Muslim. If anything, as you imply, nudity brushes away our differences. To be able to share this with one another .. and a camera ... does indeed demand a lot of trust. More than that however in these circumstances, it is a sign of great generosity and love by the model, not of me the photographer, but of life itself and the ability to live it freely without repression.

Barry Carlton
Yes, but . . . The comments so far on this picture remind me that it's possible to hide behind lots and lots of words. This isn't a picture about some sexless philosophy or some abstract social criticism; it is a picture of a woman's labia. Why? Because the lines of the picture draw the eye there. They are like the landing lights at an airport guiding the airplanes to the runway. The cigarette, the woman's torso, her legs, her arms, the lines in the couch; all point right to that usually obscure object of desire and fear. And this picture wasn't a random event, no more than an Adams landscape is what happens when you point a camera in the general direction of a tree. Sure, I expect she was relaxed as all get-out, and it really happened, but someone saw an image here, composed the shot, made the exposure, and then took the trouble to process it in Photoshop and submit it to Photo.net. The very existence of the photo, any photo, is the photographer's way of saying, "Look at this!" Even if one accepts the thesis that the photo is about relaxation and trust, it is so only because the woman involved is willing to let the photographer, and by extension, anyone in the world to gaze upon her genitalia, a willingness that is unusual enough that it is worth making an image of it and posting it to Photo.net. If nudity weren't sexual, we wouldn't be so interested in these images, either in taking them or displaying them. It is the sexuality of these pictures that gives them their daring, and that generates the large numbers of views and ratings that nudes generate on this site. What I find odd, though, is when people go on and on about how this sort of image is about anything but sex, as if the picture can only be justified if we can convince ourselves that it isn't what it is. I am reminded of a Robert Mapplethorpe photo of a man pissing in another man's mouth; a museum curator came forward in all seriousness and maintained that there should be nothing controversial about the picture because it was merely a study in form, in this case, the parabola of the arcing urine. I don't know. That picture was a bit raunchy for me. And no, it wasn't about gravity's rainbow. As to John's picture, I'm not sure where it falls for me. I certainly have no objection to nudes, as you can see from my portfolio, and I think this model is both attractive and sexy. I think the photo is sexy, but in a very in-your-face sort of way. For me, at any rate, it would be sexier if less explicit. I can see how someone could find this picture too graphic: allure done with a sledgehammer. Whatever value we ultimately give the picture, though, I think we should just come out and admit it: it's about sex.

Timo Hartikainen
Very good. I would clone out that left upper corner thing.

Jill Patton
a bit too raunchy for my tastes

Eduard K
Greate photo! I really like your natural shots. How do you manage to make them look so "unposed". Or... are they really not posed?

John Peri
No, this wasn't posed.

Francesco Ces
Is she the model you tryied to "convince once to uncover part of her breast some time ago? Well, she certainly went a long way. She is so relaxed. Good!"

John Peri
Everyone to his taste Jill, as you rightly say. This was a candid moment and I find the picture casual, honest and unpretentious. In my view, raunchy is what is blatant and forced on you. You may consider that this is actually rather sweet.

Angel Pena
This goes beyond just sexy, this tells a story...and I am not going to guess and put into words... ;-)

Larry Bishop
A Moment of Repose I really like the shot, but I just wish she wasn't smoking. I have followed your work for a while and think you are at your best when photographing unguarded moments. Keep up the great shots.

John Peri
Thank you Lannie. My remark was not addressed at all to you either. It was for more general consumption! Thanks for the info regarding Neat Image.

John Peri
Well Lannie, if I ever do a book, I will ask you to write the preface!

John Peri
Thanks. I hadn't really noticed it, it's easy to remove.

Allan Hogan
Top Shot Another lovely photo....well captured..very natural and relaxed..I like it a lot

John Peri
Hello Barry, I think that we have been through this before, at length! Any image is essentially a matter of perception. How we visualize it says as much as about ourselves as the picture that we are contemplating. Personally, I see nothing fearsome about a woman's sexuality, nor do I find this photo particularly explicit.

Ken Dibert
I don't know what to think about Barry Carlton's comment, as I personally favor airport runways that have lights. There is a lot more to this fine photo, however, than Barry's single-minded concept of "Flying United".

Ken Dibert
Hello, John....Lannie asked me to inquire why you don't put some of your nudes on the market, as they would sell. Since you have a great many on photo-net, and they are widely seen, what would be the problem with having a book published of your work so even more people could enjoy it? I think it's a great idea! If you think your models would be offended by your "selling their photo", you could always donate the proceeds to the charity of their choice, as long as that was agreeable to them. I have worked with many models too, and they all enjoyed being paid and published. As to my choice of adjectives being too harsh, someone will have to send the "language police" after me.....there is already too much flowery stuff on photo-net, "Love your capture, dahling, now do be a dear and send a pair of 7's on one of mine". As to your having several photography books with boring images....why did you buy them? I have a large collection of photography books, by the well-revered "greats" in photography, and they never bore me. Carry on the good work, John, you have a lot of "fans" out here, including myself. Oh, yes, as to Lannie's final point, "money isn't everything", that's true....there is recognition.

John Peri
Barry, I think you are right. Is the issue that we have been discussing here not one of perception, whether by the artist, the model or the viewer? Though indeed a photographer must have an attitude and the model too, what is more important is what they do with it and how the image is then looked upon. It is probably irrelevant what one identifies with at the moment that one takes the photo. It's how one sees it later that really counts. That being said, I do maintain that some of my photos are difficult to consider on their own, as for example the mother and daughter series ... ha, I found one more, but I am going to end up boring even Lannie!

Barry Carlton
Lannie wrote, "So, what was in John's mind or the mind of the model when this shot was taken? That is neither my business nor a matter of interest to me. A better question would be, 'What is in the mind of the viewer who condemns this or similar photographs?'" I would broaden Lannie's question to encompass what's on the mind of those who LIKE the photographs as well. It may well be for the same reason. Lannie's point is well-taken. Let's suppose John was a hairdresser, and that the only thing he was thinking about when he took this picture was the technique someone had used in applying the streaks to this woman's hair. Does that then turn this into a picture about hairdressing technique? Is someone who sees other things in the picture missing the point? Or has John the Hairdresser just failed to communicate? Or does the picture have an existence, and meaning, independent of either the photographer or the viewer?

Ken Dibert
Yes, John, I would agree that it's wrong to "profit" from your models. Instead, pay them well! You are gaining a good reputation from your photos which wouldn't be possible without them. How are they profiting from being photographed? I never met a model that didn't want to increase their bank account, merely because of altruistic or artistic reasons. Not one objected to being paid by the hour, crass as that may sound.

John Peri
I think you got me wrong Ken. None of my models would accept any payment for modelling nor would I want the kind of relationdhip that ensues if I did pay them. I have absolutely nothing against others doing it, and fully appreciate the kind of partnership that it leads to, but I want the freedom that both I and the model share in the present situation. Anyway, these are all friends and friends of friends, and for the most part they move in the same circles as myself. How could I possibly pay them! So how do they profit? They have a copy of the better photos that turn out and we reinforce our friendship. Surely that's enough! What I meant furthermore is that if a book came out, which is the most remote of possibilities, then I would share the profit if there ever was one! I'm talking a lot about me here, sorry. I am really starting to bore everyone!

John Peri
Well, I'll start with the answer to the purchase of a book remark, which is rather obvious maybe. Some pictures are good and others simply not! For example, who can possibly like everything that Helmut Newton did, or even de Marchelier come to that. Believe me, even I freak out sometimes at some of Newton's pictures! I agree with you Ken, the girls I work with are for the most part not at all offended at the idea of being published in a book (since they sign publication release forms) and only few don't want to appear anywhere at all, if they think that they may be recognizable. Lannie is right when he says that money is not the issue, not because I reject it, but because it's not what drives me. What I am against is "profiting" from the models, as Lannie rightly implies once again, but I am certainly not ashamed of the work per se or it's publication. Actually, I very much enjoy it and so do most of the girls ! So, if I can convince an editor one day that enough people like you exist that may decide to buy a book .. who knows !! Ha .. I would probably share the benefit with the models or, as you say, put it to some good use, though I don't imagine it's very easy for a publisher to make any profit at all with such a book.

Judson Rhodes
This is a fascinating discussion. It just shows how deeply controlled are the minds of most people in this Christian nation. I believe it's all about control of the masses. I think it started long ago with the elite classes using religious fear to control their subjects, and later to ensure that families were created and remained intact, and that there could be a responsible person at the head of a family unit, which could be taxed. Without cohesion in the social order, progress would have turned to chaos. In order to achieve the pressure to remain manogamous, sexuality had to be repressed. But we all know that what becomes verboten simply makes us all the more curious about it, and in this country inspires a black market for it. I'm reminded of Monty Python's references to "naughty bits" and the film starring Edward Norton, "Primal Fear". What was the Bishop doing that was so diametrically opposed to his public persona? I grew up in the 50's and 60's and I think we've come a long way since then, although too many are trying to keep us in the dark ages. Pornography. You want pornography? Think about George Bush and the way he suckered this country into invading Iraq. Bill Clinton succumbed to getting something his wife wouldn't give him and look what happened to him. Are we supposed to suppress all of our desires and urges. Are those who do - or say they do - better than the rest of us? Or are they just hippocrites and we're more honest? So there's a woman, and she's naked, and she's beautiful. We all are. Grow up and get over it.

John Peri
The short answer is a lot of laughter and a little Champagne. The longer one I will think about on my return from shopping ... the greatest challenge actually was not the ladies, but the husband! I have a sneaky feeling that they haven't showed him all the photos !! He's a wonderful guy actually and an old friend, all three in fact. On second thought, I will answer you in private. This may get to be a little too personal.

John Peri
Thanks Lannie. No, if it is any reassurance to anyone, I have never sold a picture. I have received many requests, and those that are on PN are witness to the fact that I have always sent at my own expense the pictures that I considered exportable and non-explicit (like certain figure studies), albeit rarely, to those I trusted. One or two are still pending and I'm working on it ... (Thomas D. I'll be with you soon)! With the explicit agreement of the models for each photo chosen, I have occasionally published some pictures (for free!) in some good quality educational photographic "how to" books, just for the fun of it, as well as in one or two reputed photographic journals such as PHOTO.

Ken Dibert
Lannie- If you feel uncomfortable about marketing your own work, or find it to be a "drag", then you could hire a "photographer's representative" to make the rounds for you. If it's not that important to you, then maybe your idea of writing about sex is a good one.

John Peri
Well, I don't know. I think that the trouble precisely with our society today is that we have too much sex and dollars on the mind. Like many other efforts in my portfolio, for me this photo is a testament to purity and innocence, uncorrupted by the perverse transformation of reality through which we perceive the world today, as so eloquently expressed above by Lannie and Judson, and even though he still maintains that the primal urge predominates, by Barry also. I maintain that the focus of our desire need not always be directed onto the ultimate orgasm which serves to perpetrate our species. It can also be to share in some of the human qualities on which we try to build the relations that lead up to that. Compassion, love, generosity and simply our existence. Sex without romance is a bore. I wish that this photo could demonstrate that. This is just a lovely girl that fell down saying "phew, I'm exhausted" and puffed on her cigarette ... a beautiful, passing and unguarded moment, no less no more. What on earth can that have to do with sex and dollars. Let us search a little for our innocence again.

John Peri
Lannie, Ken, Barry, Judson, I don't want to put an end to this discussion, but thank you, this was fun. Thanks to the others also for their comments and their ratings.

John Peri
Ken, maybe there is a more user friendly adjective than facetious that would allow you to express your idea adequately. I know that it is hard with just a few lines to express oneself without sounding a little excessive sometimes and that goes for all of us, including me! That being said, I must admit that I have several books on photography which unfortunately include many boring pictures, though I don't think that we should confuse the modesty of Lannie's way of expressing himself with the content of his art.

John Peri
By the way, another interesting paradigm is life in Scandinavia today. A young person, even older in fact, will take great care never to wear a dress that is transparent or too revealing. This is culturally unacceptable. That same person however will think nothing about going to the sauna naked with a mixed group of friends. There is an evident sexual conflict in the first case and, paradoxically, none at all in the second.

Ken Dibert
Thank you, John, for explaining your arrangement with your friends, the models. It is a "time for prints" plan. As long as everyone's happy, you couldn't hope for more.

John Peri
If you consider that this photo may be one of the most revealing among 500 others that I have posted, I do not think that one can imagine I am promoting the exhibition of genitalia! This picture leaves considerably more to the imagination than it reveals. It is an outline, a part of an outline only, and no more. Posting it on this site was the result of careful consideration and I did it because I remain convinced that it is within the limits of acceptability. Life is full of paradoxes and contradictions. If anything, I would say that I am a rather shy and, though certainly not prudish, cautious person with regards to unnecessary exposure in any situation. At the same time, I will continue to insist that there is nothing shameful about frontal nudity and I have indeed posted various examples in order to promote this view. Not only the poses but the models also are carefully chosen in order to forward this idea. Though I would not go as far as David Hamilton, who photographed young teenage girls in the nude in a way that can lend itself to many interpretations, I have chosen models which can still portray the innocence and yet ambiguity of youth in a more subtle manner. Just another word about David Hamilton. I have never met a teenage girl who has not found his photos to be absolutely wonderful. Maybe it is simply us in the adult world that have evil minds. Admittedly, I have been embarrassed occasionally when looking at some of his photos, especially in the presence of someone much younger. Why is it that a fifteen or sixteen year old girl is never so? Does it mean that I have developed a dirty mind. Is this not a product of our society? Anyway, such is the innocence that I would like to be able to relate to, even as you say if we can never go back again. I certainly believe that we can raise the threshold of tolerance to one in which we can accept that not all acts of display are necessarily motivated by some prurient interest. I would be against removing the cigarette from this photo for example, because the gesture and the pose are directly related to the act of relaxation. If you remove the motive for that posture, then you risk being left with a different interpretation to the scene. This picture could undoubtedly form the basis for a pin up, a glamour photo or even something more sexy. But these have nothing to do with the moment and the purity of the gesture that I shared with the model. Finally, maybe it is so private that I am wrong to display it? I will have to ask the model what she feels about this. At no time did she say what I can or cannot post, the assumption being that I would always know to do the right thing. We are human however and I can be wrong. I have read about neat image before in these pages. Is it something that I should get? Have a nice weekend Lannie.

Barry Carlton
To Lannie Kelly I think you said exactly what I was trying to say: ". . . I do have to wonder how it is that we spend so much time photographing or viewing alluring women while simultaneously protesting, 'But I'm not looking at that!'" Please note I stayed far away from condemning John's picture; I have looked through his portfolio several times, and conclude he is a talented photographer who knows exactly what he's doing. And his pictures are certainly thought provoking. As an aside, I have seen photos (not by John!) not much different from this one, if you were to describe them verbally ("Supine woman with legs spread, showing crotch") that are just awful. The fact John can pull this one off at all is a testament to his eye. But I get back to my original point, and I think we're actually in agreement on this: if it's really about sex, or body parts, as I think this one is, why do we go through the mental gymnastics of denying it? Why do we have to pretend we're doing something else (you know, buying Playboy for the articles, and so on)?

Barry Carlton
The true meaning Actually, upon closer inspection, I see the true meaning of the photo. Her pubic hair, along with the vertical skin folds, form a dollar sign. John is truly being subversive here. It's not about sex after all . . .

Ken Dibert
Lannie's comment " I've never marketed my boring landscapes because I hate marketing " sounds facetious to me, because, as we should all know, there is no market for boring photographs. Ansel Adams wasn't "above" marketing his work, despite family wealth. Why? because the landscapes he had to sell weren't boring and he knew it.

Boris Voglar
Relaxed very relaxed, i'm fascinated.

Steve Ward
sw this has been a fascinating set of comments, and i have not yet been able to read it all. your work is on a completely different level than mine, i am very much a part time hobbyist with no more thn 3 credits training, and that was 2o yrs ago. I am happy to say that one of the soccer moms took one of my photos, a team phot of the soccer team, and her local paper published it. That was a lot of fun, and a first for me. The digital/film dilemma is still there, and i am torn beteen the d70, f6 film and the new D coming out soon(very expensive)with the 12.4 megapixel sensor. I still have a lot of fun, so it's ok to know just enough to be dangerous. i still enjoy your posts, and only wish i could get to that level

Steve Ward
sw but butt, and it is easy to get past the butt and still see a great shot. i have been torn between digital and one more film(F6)camera. How are you enjoying the D70?

John Peri
Steve, I have hardly used it yet. My results with bounce flash are a catastrophe!

John Peri
Jody, I always called it a lady's private parts! ... Hy Jody, we've missed you. Where have you been!

Steve Ward
sw what you call a catastrophe, i might not even get close to. I know digital would make posting photos a lot easier htan having to scan slides first, but i'm a little afraid of it yet. it's just that i value your opinion, and think that if it earns your blessing, it must be time(to make the big jump). i just can't imagine that i can buy anything digital and still be using it when it reaches half the age of my F3. At some point that will become a moot concern, since i do reach for the f100 first these days. manual focus and my eyesight almost require that i be shooting landscapes, they hold still longer than the kids do

Jody Frost
In a word.. delish!

Jody Frost
I just started to have a look at some of the comments stimulated by this shot...I have a question... do any of these folks that have sooooo much to say about a casual shot of a lovely crumpet (no offense, quite the contrary) have a life? I mean, I'd have to do pretty much nothing else to spend all my time slogging thru such dense rhetoric (fascinating as it all is!) and responding. Must be nice!

Nick Wicked
Beauty I am new to photo.net, but have taken many nude photos over the years. I view this as being perhaps as innocent as a nude can be. Labia can be beautiful too! This and your other photos are magnificent, John. I would appreciate your thoughts on mine. Regards

David Blair
An apology I apologise for my comment here john and have edited accordingly. I love your portfolio. You're a wonderful photographer of the naked female form, making the ordinary extraordinary. all of the things that I try to avoid in my photo's are so effortlessly brushed over in yours.

John Peri
Many thanks David, you are always most curteous. There was just a passing reference to the model that would nevertheless have embarrassed her. She will now see how thoughtful people are on this site.

Doug Settle
aat5 John, I like a great image, I like art, and I like this image and of course the female form. Its beautiful, its awesome, its artistry andof course can be sexy; its all in the way one looks at the image, is it lust?, is it desire?, or is it just a simple appreciation for beauty and in this case captured beauty? I for one don't care to indulge in the pro or cons of nudity, if it offends don't view it,or even look (yea try that)... Anyway my intent here was simple, was this image done in natural light. please share some of the asthetics of this image. Thanks, Doug Settle

John Peri
Hello Doug. What more could I add that I have not already said around this image over three years ago ... Essentially, a photo is what it says to you. It is probably harder to describe it when you took it yourself, because you participated in the moment and the message can be more personal than anyone else can see. Ansel Adams said that a photo is either good or it isn't (the implication being that there are no rules). I would add that you either like it or you don't. Thanks for passing by.

John Peri
A moment's relaxation ... in between shots ...

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